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Full hollow tele experiment

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by maxvintage, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    ooooooo boy. you got the beginnings of some juju there...
     
  2. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    Love the concept, been thinking about doing almost exactly the same thing myself. Even if it doesn't sound any different from the guitars I have now it's a great excuse to build another! :)
     
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thinned the top down by @ 1/8. I can't go any further because then the guitar will get too thin. Reducing it by 1/8 noticeably changed the resonant tone of the top. Routed the binding ledge and did the round-over. I decided to go with the classic black with white binding.

    Transtint dye in alcohol:

    IMG_1458.jpg


    Going to finish it in shellac, french polished. I'm a shellac man. Non-toxic, no spray gear required, very forgiving of dust and humidity. The bottle has straight "Royal Lac" tinted with black dye. Royal Lac is a pre-mixed shellac that has some kind of resins in it that makes it tougher then regular shellac. I'll lay down enough coats to empty that bottle, then glue the binding on and switch to regular shellac to finish up. I might to some grain filling in between, using Pumice french-polish style. It looks like there is some kind of two-tone thing going on inside the body--it's just a trick of the light



    IMG_1459.jpg

    Here you can see the "body coat" of shellac starting to build after two coats
     
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    cool, looking forward to the finish
     
  5. k.l.k

    k.l.k Tele-Holic

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    based on those clips, i like the sound of the first one you made. but it could be a bunch of things other than difference in the guitars. they're both very cool.

    tk smith was hollowing out regular teles before he started making his bigsby neck-through replicas. i really like the concept, at least given my limited experience playing hollow/solids. even my FMT tele has some of that quality.

    the other place you may notice it-- or that i do with the occasional hollowed one--is for faster comping. fine line between a top that vibrates enough to bounce while you comp and one that feeds back.
     
  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    So i hope this will be useful for anyone interested in this process or idea. I'm trying to give a somewhat objective record here. I did some rough finish wok, installed a binding, and then decided to reassemble it and see if wanted to continue with it. I'm on the fence--I think I over-braced it, but I'd welcome any opinions on the tone. Again my goal here is to get something of the "attack envelope" of an archtop. So below are two clips--one is the hollow tele, the other is a 1977 Guild Artist Award, a really big full depth acoustic archtop. It has a p-90-ish single pickup and flatwounds.


    IMG_0844.jpg


    I ran through the same little bits with each (the head to "Tiny's Tempo;" a bit of intro from Belgian Jazz guitarist Rene Thomas, and a chord melody verse of "beautiful love," a jazz standard), and did my best to match the levels, which are low so you might want to turn it up if you are interested in a comparison


    Guild


    Hollow Tele


    It's getting to be hard for me to hear the differences and maybe we are into guitar obsessive hairsplitting territory? I think the tele is in the ballpark, but maybe all this is proving is that you sound like yourself on whatever
     
  7. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not only is this a very cool experiment, I love that you demoed the guitar with some Timy Grimes--"tiny's Tempo."
     
  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tiny is underrated! Very cool dude:



    Tiny's Tempo was my first introduction to Charlie Parker as well




    So one other factor I keep thinking might matter is the bridge plate. I'm using a Wilkinson top loader, and it's really well made and heavy. I think I want to old fender stamped steel bridge--light and flimsy it probably the way to go. Does anyone now if somebody makes a stamped steel toploader? Or I could just buy a bridge plate and drill it I guess. Have to get the spacing just right....
     
  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seen that video many times. I'm a huge fan of Tiny Grimes.
     
  10. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear more metal in the tele
     
  11. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

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    The tele is brighter to my ears. More highs and as someone earlier mentioned it does sound a little metallic. Holding my phone and listening to the clip I could feel the same sort of resonance as it vibrated in my hand. I think you are right atop you're goal. It's a nice snappy little tone you've got goin'.
     
  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    hey max post a solid tele clip for comparison
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I like it!
    Both the experimenting in construction and the resulting sound.
    I think you said you're using steel pole Tele pups and playing the neck pup, which would keep your narrow cut to the tone compared to the wider coil in the p90 Guild pup, right?
    While you'll never duplicate the Guilds tone, I think you've gotten pretty close at least to what I would hope a full hollow Tele could give up for archtop tone.

    I guess if the top holds its form and doesn't twist or collapse over time you could build another with lighter bracing. If you're around 1/8th thick that sounds thin enough though.
    I'm thinking you might get better top mechanics with a half bridge and body mounting the bridge pup though, just a thought on how a (flat)top flexes.
     
  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you all for listening! I'm finding this very useful and a good counter to the tendency to imagine what i want to hear. Worth mentioning that the Guild, in the clip above, has a very old set of flatwounds on it and yes a more p-90 like pickup. The Fralin steel pole is the size of standard tele neck pickup.


    I don't have a tele with a standard tele neck pickup at the moment. Here's an alder body tele with a Joe Barden neck pickup.

    Solid tele with Barden neck pickup

    Hollow Tele

    It seems to me there is a pretty clear difference?

    I'm not sure if thinner/less braced is the way to go either. The top at the moment is about 1/4. Benedetto, in his archtop book, says a thinner top isn't necessarily either louder or better. I'm using pine too, which is not very strong. The first one I made just broke last night when I put pressure on it. I'm thinking of buying some spruce and making a full hollow, bent sides tele. Although the lower bout bend is going to be tough to pull off
     
  15. Tomasi

    Tomasi Tele-Meister

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    Sounds very nice indeed! In addition to characteristic traditional tele sound I'm always really excited about different variations and how far you can go by altering construction, woods and electronics. Something truly unique and golden can be found in the threads less traveled...
     
  16. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Naah! But you might be wize to perfect that bend first.
     
  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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  18. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wish I had the time and resources to bear this out, but any project I'd invest in sadly would not quite have the OPs criteria.
    But.
    Picture a hollowed out Tele body, leaving a center square area for bridge, that is to say solid from top to back. Then, picture a sized down Tele body made of balsa wood ( or fairly dense foam) that would insert into The first body, capped off in spruce of a thickness I know not...
    I believe this to work towards a jazzy, sorta lo fi susienct note guitar that would fit the criteria.
    And, relatively, and easier build.
    No bracing. No arching.
    Maybe even the old dearmond floater for pup.
    (No routing for that, again, easier)
    Maybe then, there would be less overlap of notes , and each note heard more cleanly.
    I could see employing those individiual bridge fingers like some high end basses use.
    Technically a solid body, but no standing wave worries from the hollow.
     
  19. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    max you're making me want to jump in and experiment, too

    I'd brace perpendicular to the strings, fabricate a minimalist tele bridge that allows strings to pass behind the bridge, and anchor the strings to a tailpiece

    a Selmertele, Teleselmer, Teleferri...

    search online for "pliage" construction of the top

    example: http://www.pluckandsqueeze.com/Mac 2/Pliage 1.htm
     
  20. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

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    There is a clear difference. You can hear the Volume, as in the size of the chamber in the hollow tele. It swells and has a slight "large hall" reverb effect. It's really nice and quite jazzy. I'd leave it alone, unless you just must tinker like most of us.

    It has a pleasing little bloom/flourish that the solid does not have.
     
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